What is massage?
Rubbing areas that hurt is a natural human response. Other mammals have similar reactions
when feeling pain or discomfort. Therapeutic massage is based on this idea. With massage,
muscles and other soft body tissues are rubbed and manipulated. This helps reduce
pain and aid in the healing process.
Massage is found to be helpful both physically and emotionally. The rubbing action
soothes sore muscles and releases tension in the body. This calms and eases stress.
Massage therapy can help with treatment of:
Anxiety and stress reduction
High blood pressure
Carpal tunnel symptoms
Sports or overuse injuries
Side effects of cancer and cancer therapy
Massaging muscles and soft tissue stimulates the nerves. It also increases blood flow
and eases stress in the muscles. Over the centuries, many massage methods have developed
Swedish massage. This method includes the use of long, smooth strokes. The strokes knead and compress
the muscles with deep circular movements, vibration, and tapping.
Shiatsu. This Japanese form of massage is a form of acupressure. It puts pressure on certain
key points of the body.
Thai massage. This method also uses yoga and some traditional Chinese medicine methods.
Massages are typically done in a quiet room with soothing background music. There
is also often aromatherapy from candles or incense. You often lie down on a massage
table or sit in a massage chair. Massage uses a group of manual methods. These are
made up of both fixed and moveable pressure.
Massage therapy is regulated by law. There are specific guidelines in 44 states and
the District of Columbia. The National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage
and Bodywork (NCBTMB) has set up standards of practice. It also gives a board certification
In 2013, the NCBTMB established board certification. This is the highest attainable
credential for massage therapists today.
The NCBTMB board certification requires that a massage therapist meets these requirements:
Pass the board certification exam
Complete 750 hours of education
Complete 250 hours of professional hands-on experience
Pass a full national background check
Have a current CPR certification
Agree to uphold NCBTMB Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics
Agree to oppose human trafficking
Research has shown that massage therapy has few risks if used appropriately and provided
by a trained massage professional. Tell all of your healthcare providers (conventional
or complementary) about the health methods, supplements, and medicines you use. This
will give them a full picture of your health and help ensure safe, effective, coordinated